Drone Notes: 3-D printing, the Ocean, curry and a buying guide

by Todd Jones ([email protected]) 223 views 

Drones have many different uses and several enterprising people are breaking new ground. Is it possible to 3-D print drones? How about use it in the ocean or deliver food? What kind of drone can I buy to get started?

We set out to help answer these questions in this edition of our Drone Notes.

Joel Gordon, director of the Launchpad at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, would find this very interesting. It seems someone has unveiled the first and largest 3-D printed, jet powered, drone.

Gizmag has the scoop:
“3D printing just hit another benchmark, with the recent announcement by Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys Ltd that they have developed a 3D-printed, jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the ability to reach speeds of up to 150 mph (241 km/h). Unveiled at this week’s Dubai Airshow, it is reportedly the largest and most complex UAV ever created using 3D printing.”

Surely, we have a map for everything. Well, according to Sampriti Bhattacharyya a mechanical engineer at MIT, we need maps for the ocean floor. Why not?

The engineer founded a startup company to help secure funds to commercialize EVE, a pumpkin looking drone, to help Google map the ocean floor.

According to New Scientist:
“Meet EVE – the Ellipsoidal Vehicle for Exploration – a sensor-studded yellow robot the shape of a pumpkin. EVE’s creator Sampriti Bhattacharyya, a mechanical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a grand mission in mind for a swarm of EVEs: she wants to build Google Maps for the ocean.”

Bhattacharyya added, “We do not yet have a very cheap, scalable, easily deployable method of scanning large areas of the ocean.”

Hydroswarm is the company competing for a share of $1.5 Million in grants to make EVE commercial.

Imagine ordering food from your favorite restaurant and Arkansas food delivery service Chef Shuttle brings you your favorite sushi using a drone. In the UK, one company wants to deliver curry using a drone.

UK restaurant boss Aki Rahman told Yahoo, “I’m determined to beat Google and Amazon and be the first to use delivery drones.”

The article continues:
“Aki, who owns The Don restaurant in Milton Keynes, plans to fly his chicken tikka masalas and vindaloos using a tough thermal takeaway bag which fits securely on the bottom rails of the four-propeller £650 DJI Phantom 3 drone.

“He’s even practiced landing it gently to ensure even the lightest poppadom stays intact.

“The enterprising 30-year-old will track the progress of the drone with a specialist camera, with customers getting the chance to see footage of their food being delivered.

Permission is needed from the CAA to use the aircraft for commercial purposes and to fly with a camera within congested areas.”

Are you buying a drone for Christmas this year? If so, you might check out the “Best Drones for Sale and Why” guide at MyFirstDrone.com. The site, operated by Darrell Smith of Scottsdale, Ariz., has a buying guide for first-time drone buyers. The site has lots of good information for that first-time drone owner and its community includes more than 272,000 likes on Facebook.

The guide, written by Korey Smith, noted:
“In my opinion, there are four key factors that make a good ready-to-fly multirotor. Each model was picked based on features, quality, ease of use and value. Although this is a numbered list based on which models I personally like the most, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider all of them when buying your first drone. Everyone has different needs and reasons for wanting one over the other, so just keep that in mind when looking at drone reviews online.”

Happy buying!